California ISO takes actions to protect against coronavirus risk

Folsom, Calif. (March 4, 2020) – To protect the health of the company’s staff, and prevent possible disruption to critical business operations, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) is implementing temporary restrictions on all in-person meetings at its offices and at off-site venues, due to potential risks presented by the novel coronavirus, or COVID- 19, effective immediately through April 1, or until further notice.

Scheduled in-person meetings hosted by the ISO will now be conducted as teleconference or webinars when possible. All tours to ISO facilities, including its main headquarters in Folsom, are cancelled through April 1 or until further notice. In addition, all non-essential business travel for ISO employees has been suspended through April 1.

“Until more is known about the origin, transmission, and treatment of the virus, the ISO is taking necessary proactive steps to protect the health and safety of our staff, our stakeholders and our customers, while safeguarding the critical infrastructure of the power grid and energy market,” said Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO. “We understand that the new protocol may be an inconvenience, and we apologize for any changes in travel plans, but continued reliable operation of the electrical system is our company’s first priority.”

The ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity that serves 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. The ISO also manages a real-time energy market for utilities in eight western states and conducts reliability coordinator services to most balancing authorities in the West.

While state and federal health officials say the risk to the general public remains low, the ISO must take steps to ensure the continuity of its critical operations.

The ISO is in the process of updating its calendar of events to reflect the new meeting formats; notices will be sent to targeted audiences to notify stakeholders and meeting participants of the visitor restrictions.

The policy applies to the following meetings scheduled this month, including:

  • California ISO Board of Governors meetings
  • Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Governing Body and Governance Review meetings
  • Resource Interconnection Fair
  • Market Surveillance Committee meeting
  • Market Performance and Planning Forum
  • 2021 Local Capacity Requirements Process

The ISO continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus outbreak, and will provide periodic updates to help stakeholders actively participate in meetings. 
Visit caiso.com for the latest information regarding meetings and visitor restrictions.

Source: California ISO